2 Russian pilots kidnapped by armed bandits in Darfur


KHARTOUM – Two Russian pilots have been abducted Sunday by unknown gunmen in the capital of South Darfur state, the Sudanese army said this evening.

The two pilots are working for Badr Airlines, a private airliner based in Khartoum and known for operating cargo and passenger air services for humanitarian aid provided by UN agencies in the restive region of Darfur.

The abductors captured the pilots and escaped into the neighbourhood embarking on a Land Cruiser.

Government forces have cordoned off the suspected places in Nyala in an attempt to find the abducted pilots and their kidnappers, Sudan Armed Forces spokesperson Al-Sawarmi Khalid told the official news agency (SUNA).

South Darfur state also mobilized all its security apparatus to arrest the offenders.

Last month, a Russian pilot working for the Russian airline UTair and operating under a UN contract was gone missing after a helicopter emergency landing. The Russian special envoy to Sudan Mikhail Margelov claimed that pro-government militias were behind the abduction.

The pilot who was reportedly beaten by the militias was later released and returned safely.